Dunja Lavrova

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Vinyl Gems of Violin- Tour

Hello, lovely page visitors,

It's Dunja here, writing directly to you! Thanks for taking time to visit my website and this page!

This page and all its links are dedicated entirely to my latest project, "Vinyl Gems of Violin" - a unique tour around UK and back in time.

Brief summary of the project:

This tour is an idea to recreate the unique experience and magical atmosphere of the legendary musical gatherings, or soirees of the early part of 20th century, where the great violinists like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz performed their favourite violin miniatures. During this tour, I will be reintroducing some of the long-forgotten out-of-print scores popular in the Golden Age of violin playing. Concerts will take place at 12 small vintage cinemas around UK, the nostalgic ambiance of which would create a special, intimate environment, with its dry accountings mimicking the sound of old studio records. I will be narrating the recitals with stories and anecdotes from that period and familiarising the audience with the history behind the less familiar scores.

The cities where this tour would take me to are: Southampton, Poole, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, and of course London, where there will be two events: at the beginning and at the end of the tour.

I have recorded a little video introduction to this project which you can view here:

Below the video is a written introduction with more detail.

I hope you can take a few minutes to read through it and please don't forget to check out the "Donation Page" by clicking here.

So, what's the story behind this project?

The ideas for a tour and recording of an album which would take myself and the audience back in time came came to me almost simultaneously. Back then I had made some home recordings of Heifetz's transcriptions with a gramophone effect and put them on social media. The enthusiasm and encouragement of those who heard those recordings inspired me to make these dreams of mine come true.

The success of being able to make this  "authentically-recorded" album came first, under the name of "My Dusty Gramophone" (please click here to find out more).

But the dream of making the concept live on stage is yet to be explored!..

Not a day goes by when I am not listening to old records, searching for more old scores or watching archived videos from that great period at the turn of the 20th century, the Golden Age of Violin! 

So, when I was asked what my next move would be in an interview with Toby Deller (Classical Music Magazine) about “My Dusty Gramophone” album, I didn’t even blink before answering that the next step is to recreate the nostalgic experience of that period live on tour.

At the beginning, I had various ideas of where to put these concerts (heritage sites, historic buildings, jazz venues), but in the end there was one idea which seemed the strongest and most suitable for my "old school" performing style - old vintage cinemas as venues! 

These venues would re-create the intimate sound of old studio records, where close-up microphone set-up and no reverb were used (the type of sound world "My Dusty Gramophone" aimed to recreate).

The nostalgic effect of being in a vintage cinema will also bring us back in time to the Silver Screen era - which, incidentally, was alive at the same time as the Golden Age of violin playing.

The acoustics of the cinema would also assist me with my desire to narrate my performances with stories and anecdotes from the Golden Age period and with a comfortable seating in a small theatre space, these venues would make an intimate performance space which I find would mimic a cosy lounge in an old house rather accurately. Because, after all, the idea of the tour is to take the audiences back in time to those legendary private musical gatherings which were happening so often at the turn of last century!

And why "Vinyl Gems of violin"?

I wanted the tour to primarily focus on out-of-print, forgotten or even simply neglected scores of miniature pieces which were popular both among the violinists and the audiences of that era. For a few decades now, miniatures have mainly been playing an “encore” role in the modern violinist’s repertoire, but I feel they deserve substantially more credit, and not be solely left to performances one gives at group concerts at school!.. 

There are entire worlds, entire stories inside just 3-5 minutes of playing time, and that’s really their magic! They can draw in ANY listener, whether a long-bearded classical music enthusiast or a small child who doesn’t know the difference between guitar and viola, and one can fit so many of these short pieces into one programme, that everyone in the audience will be able to relate to something. I know this because I have given quite a few of those all-miniatures recitals, often to the audiences completely unfamiliar with classical music, and they were absolutely delighted with the programme! 

I am extremely honoured to be collaborating with Carl Fischer Music and having access to all those special, yet long-forgotten miniatures which will be included in the tour programme. 

U.S.- based Carl Fischer Music have published thousands of compositions since 1872, including most of Jascha Heifetz's arrangements. (Please click here to find out more about Carl Fischer Music.) With this collaboration, it will also be an amazing opportunity for me to bring some of the scores from U.S. which might have not been heard in the U.K. yet!

I feel like in this slightly complicated for classical music time in the U.K., this type of exciting and original programme presented at un-usual venues would draw in some new audiences and as far as “regular” classical music concert-goers are concerned, there will be so many new discoveries and re-discoveries ready to be made by them, because a lot of the music included in the tour programme won't have been heard for decades and can only be found on historic records. 

Those old records are the only reason why I know these pieces, and thus came the name for the tour: "Vinyl Gems of Violin"!

I have filmed couple of examples with pianist Sophia Rahman especially for you to accompany this campaign, the videos of which are below. You can also hear a track from "My Dusty Gramophone" album of "Danza de la Gitana" from Carl Fischer archives. 

I plan to include these magical pieces and many others in the tour programme.

A "neglected gem":

Heifetz's incredible masterpiece of an arrangement of Debussy's L'apres-midi d'un Faune, which is seldom heard in live performance- despite it being included in Carl Fischer's most popular volume of Heifetz's transcriptions for violin and piano:

Debussy/ Heifetz:
L'Apres-midi d'un Faune

A "forgotten gem":

Georgy Catoire's  "Elegy", which the great violinist David Oistrakh recorded alongside both of Catoire's violin sonatas and performed throughout his life, acting as an ambassador for this great but sadly very little known composer:

George Catoire: Elegy

An "archived gem":
Great violinist Jascha Heifetz wrote an enormous amount of transcriptions for violin and piano, and although some of them are still in print in “Jascha Heifetz Collections” editions, published by Carl Fischer Music, sadly, many of them are in the archives - and “Danza de la Gitana” is one of those... I am extremely honoured to be collaborating with Carl Fischer Music on this project and to have access to their archives:

Hallfter/ Heifetz: Danza de la Gitana

Plan of action:

I am now at a stage when most of the plans have been made, and feel very encouraged by the positivity of my supporters and very excited about collaborations with various organisations. 

The next big step is to source the funding which is necessary in order to make this project happen.

To take this next step, I am planning to raise the funds through donations. I am hoping to be able to put a few fundraising concerts around UK (if you have any suggestions of venues for these, please get in touch), and hoping that all who believe in this project will be able to spread the word about it.


This page is my attempt to give a better understanding of this project to everyone who might find it interesting or willing to contribute in whatever way (whether through donations, however small, or advice, or help with making it work, or suggestions of whom to contact). If you have any further questions, please do get in touch via contact form at the bottom of this page.

To say thank you, I will be giving back for every donation in various forms, ranging from: signed CDs/photographs, tickets to concerts and behind-the-scenes rehearsals, to arrangements and performance of a piece of your choice and private performances at the event or occasion of your choice. There are also various options for the sponsor to advertise their business or dedicate a page in the concert programme to an organisation of their choice. Please click here to be transferred to the page for the details of various donation options, a budget break-down per venue and what you can expect back for it. 

Thank you so much for reading this and please do get in touch, whether you're considering making a donation of any size, or know someone who might, or have any suggestions or advice. 

If you are a concert or festival promoter and interested in including a performance such a this in your concert series or as part of a festival, please get in touch.

At the bottom of this page you can find the contact form to reach me directly.

Enormous thanks in advance and thank you again!


Please click here to be transferred to the Donation Page where you can find out about budgets, how to donate and how I will thank you!

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